Everyone knows all the details of the story. Sandusky was more than inappropriate with minors, Paterno and the Heads of Penn State did not to action as decent human beings and the university has lost all credibility.
Now the NCAA has felt the need to make their stamp on the football program; a program that allowed such monstrous acts. But is it really their fault; did the players, assistants, water boys, equipment managers, cheerleaders or the fans have any knowledge of this horrific situation? With the current sanctions against the school, the NCAA President, Mark Emmert certainly thinks so.
Paterno has already been fired, his legacy destroyed, his statue removed and lost his life over this ordeal. No one will argue that he deserved a more fair treatment from the community. But this punishment brought down on Penn State goes too far. Vacating wins off Paterno’s record to ensure he no longer holds the all-time record is one thing; taking those wins away from the kids who poured their heart and soul into the 1998-2011 seasons is simply unjust. Remove the head coach from books, do not remove the team.
Why are those individuals being punished for the terrible acts of a select few? 111 times, a unit of student-athletes took the field together, yet those 111 times are no longer recognized. How can Mr. Emmert look any of those players in the eye and say “this problem is partly your fault, you do not deserve to be rewarded.” Did these people do anything wrong at all? Nothing about this controversy was a football program violation; it was a university violation by its strongest contributors. The legacy of those at fault are now destroyed, like you intended NCAA, but at the cost of thousands of innocent bystanders.
Bowl Bans and scholarship reductions only punish the future of a distraught community. Penn State could rally around Bill O’Brien and a team that stands up in the face of adversity. Instead, they are hindered by monsters of the past; monsters that will have absolutely no relation to the incoming class of Nittany Lions four years from now. How are the current staff and players supposed to help this program move forward? The NCAA has set up O’Brien to fail.
And that is the only the first part of the sanctions. The NCAA is also stealing $60 million from the University. Why do they feel entitled to this money? What did they exactly do to deserve this jackpot? Even if they do not take a single dime of that fine (which is highly unlikely with their checkered past of greed), a nice tax break is in order for the mass amounts of charitable donations planned. Emmert wants PSU to become a haven for sexual abuse awareness; $60 million would certainly be good start to developing that program.
For a “legal” matter, the NCAA certainly has stuck their nose in, and returned winners. The NCAA’s power is limited to making a fair culture for all sports programs to compete, not to destroy a program over a legal matter. The University of Miami Football program has repeatedly been caught cheating (a department the NCAA is supposed to focus on), yet they will still return next season basically unscathed. Cam Newton led Auburn to a National Title, while it was proven his father was paid by the university for his “son’s services.” Where were you then Mr. Emmert? I recall Reggie Bush returning his Heisman trophy for the same exact situation. Worry about issues you are supposed to handle; let the government handle the rest.
Who do you think you are Mark Emmert? Who do you think you are NCAA?